ECOWAS’ reputation for upholding democratic norms is facing strain as a growing number of West African leaders alter rules to consolidate power and resist stepping down at the end of their mandated terms.
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A power struggle between former President José Mário Vaz and Guinea-Bissau’s ruling Party for the Independence for Guinea and Cape Verde plunged the country into a series of political and institutional crises following the dismissal of Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira in August 2015. From the beginning ECOWAS took an active role in resolving the impasse, embarking on several rounds of mediation missions led by former and current regional heads of state, as well as a delegation of regional ministers. The culmination of these efforts resulted in the October 2016 Conakry Accord, a 10-point roadmap for resolution designed to foster political stability and cooperation among the country’s governing members. ECOWAS’s sustained engagement in Guinea-Bissau provides a blueprint for future political and institutional crises in the region.
Oversight, accountability, and governance of the security sector are essential ingredients to a capable and effective force, mitigating infractions and contributing to a learning environment that improves future practices.
African-led peace operations have been vital tools for managing Africa’s complex array of security challenges, though continued reform is needed to intervene more decisively in the continent’s most devastating conflicts.
The attempted military coup in Niger threatens to undermine the relative progress the country has made under its civilian democratic leaders and amplifies Niger’s risks for insecurity, economic crises, and political instability.
The threat of militant Islamist groups is spreading to all parts of Mali as the military junta stakes its claim to stay in power indefinitely.
The Yaoundé Protocol has driven a decline in West and Central African piracy and charted a course for what transnational security collaboration can accomplish around the continent.
To reverse Nigeria’s deteriorating security environment, experts urge the Tinubu administration to surge security forces in identified hotspots while prioritizing civilian harm reduction, improving accountability of the security sector, and rebuilding trust.
Russia has systematically sought to undercut democracy in Africa, both to normalize authoritarianism as well as to create an entry point for Russian influence.
Creating a culture of military professionalism requires instilling core societal values within all members of the armed forces. Such shared values have a powerful unifying effect on a military, amplifying force cohesion and effectiveness.
Two coups d’état in 9 months mark the latest inflection point in Burkina Faso’s political instability, causing heightened uncertainty as the country faces an escalating militant Islamist threat.
Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo calls on Africa to enhance stability and prosperity by investing in democratic institutions and improving the integrity of electoral processes.